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At Home Learning Through The Arts

At Home Learning Through The Arts
The Royal Conservatory’s Learning Through the Arts (LTTA) has been a leader in arts-based methodologies for the past 25 years. Providing K-12 teachers with innovative tools and resources to support inclusive student engagement has always been LTTA’s priority.

These unprecedented times have brought forward a new wave of creativity within our team. Fired by the need to keep learning moving forward, LTTA has developed new online resources that support learning and wellness at school and at home.  

YouthBeat provides a new way for students to express themselves musically using today’s technology. Designed for use by generalist Grade 4-8 teachers, it is a web app-based program that teaches students to listen with intent, and to think and create music like a composer/producer.

MathBeat - created with the help of a math specialist - adds connections to priority math concepts such as fractions, percentages, and decimals that grow naturally out of the functionality within the YouthBeat app.

To help teachers get even more out of YouthBeat, we’re developing short activities for special days such as Orange Shirt Day, Earth Day, and Pink Shirt Day, as well as culminating project ideas such as Year in Review.

LTTA’s partnerships with Calgary Board of Education (CBE), Vancouver School Board (VSB), and Toronto District School Board (TDSB), among others - have helped us better understand and meet the needs of teachers and students across Canada, and have led to the creation of two innovative teacher professional learning programs:
  • Developed with Indigenous Elders, Artists and Knowledge Keepers from across Canada, Walk the Circle assists educators in respectfully and appropriately teaching about Canada’s First Nations. 
  • 6 Social offers teachers and students a toolkit drawn from design thinking that is ideal for breaking down problems, encouraging persistence, and helping students communicate their ideas effectively using a variety of media.
If you have a resource need that you don’t see covered in the resources below, or have discovered new ways to connect our programming to curriculum, please let us know! Contact us at [email protected].

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The Nature Wellness Project

Nature Wellness


Many students have been adversely impacted by the isolation they have experienced over the past year and a half. In this project, students break through the isolation and gain new supports for wellness by reconnecting with the sounds of nature.  

Elder Nk’xetko returns to explain how connecting to Nature can help with our personal wellness. She reminds us to slow down and listen deeply to the natural sounds around us. Students are then invited to create music using the YouthBeat web app in response to nature sounds that have recently been added to the app.  

We have posted two wellness activities which combines a music activity with nature sounds. Each takes 30 minutes to complete and is designed for students in Grades 4 – 8. No musical knowledge is required. 

Activity 1

Download the Teacher Resource Guide to learn how to use the resources for this week’s activity.

Teacher Resource Guide

Forest Walk


Activity 1



Activity 2

In this calming, centering activity, students delve deeper into the organic connection between sounds in nature and music, as they listen to a variety of wind sounds and create music that is inspired by them. Download the Teacher Resource Guide to learn how to use the resources for this week’s activity.

Teacher Resource Guide

Wind Sounds

Activity 2

The YouthBeat App

An easy-to-use web app allows students with no musical knowledge to create and manipulate musical patterns.

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Join our mailing list to learn more about LTTA programs which support teachers in using arts-based methodologies that meet the learning needs of young people.

Join our mailing list

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day) 

September 30, 2021 is the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation designated by the Canadian government in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 80. This statutory day will “honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process”.  To learn more about Orange Shirt Day, please visit the Orange Shirt Society website

In addition to resources that The Royal Conservatory’s Learning Through the Arts (LTTA) division has developed to support educators and their students on September 30, we want to highlight that: 

  • Canada’s National Residential School Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1.866.925.4419 
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports can be found here

Healing Through Music Project Overview

This project builds upon two decades of LTTA involvement with Indigenous Elders and communities. LTTA asked two courageous Indigenous Elders – Nk’xetko and Issapaakii – to share their personal memories of what it was like to live in the Kamloops and St. Cyprien Residential Schools. Nk’xetko discusses the role of music in her healing process and invites students to create healing music using the YouthBeat app, and then share it with her.

The following resources help children empathize with the experiences of these Elders and to express their own emotions through music as they hear these stories, while making a difference through their music to the healing process for the Elders.

These resources are designed for generalist Grade 4-8 teachers – no musical training is required. Students can work in small group if devices are in short supply and the introductory activity and app are provided free of charge.

Residential School Stories 

Elders Nk’xetko and Issapaakii tell their personal stories of what it was like to live in Kamloops and St. Cyprien Residential schools. Prompting questions encourage students to reflect on what they’ve heard and learned.  



Drum Matters 

Elder Nk’xetko discusses the importance of the drum in her healing process. She shares the heartbeat drum pattern and invites students to create their own response to the healing energy of this drumbeat. 



The Healing Through Music Project

A step by step short video provides all the information teachers will need to share with students to have them complete the project using the YouthBeat app. Ideal to share from the front of class, pausing at each instruction slide. The teacher guide includes assessment rubrics.



Download the Teacher Guide

The YouthBeat App 

An easy-to-use web app allows students with no musical knowledge to create and manipulate musical patterns.   

  Start Now

Join our mailing list to learn more about LTTA programs which support teachers in using arts-based methodologies that meet the learning needs of young people.

Join our Mailing List

Students in Grades 4-8/Ages 9-13 can explore the DNA of music and their inner and outer worlds in ten fun-filled episodes uploaded each week.

Episode 1 – What Is Sound?

Explore the nature of sound as both a physical phenomenon and a matter of individual perception. Take part in the sound and wellness exercise towards the end of this episode, which you and your family can do together.

Download the free YouthBeat iOS app on your iPad. Please note, this app is only available on the iPad.



Episode 2 – Science of Sound

Discover the science of sound and how your body plays an essential role in listening. Towards the end of the episode, there is an exercise that you and your family can do!

Download the free YouthBeat iOS app on your iPad. Please note, this app is only available on the iPad.



Episode 3 – What is Music?


Episode 4 – Beat and Rhythm


Episode 5 – Storytelling


Episode 6 – Heartbeat and Song


Episode 7 – Music and the Senses


Episode 8 – Music and Identity


Episode 9 – Your Brain on Music

Episode 1 - Lauren Percival​


Episode 2 - Nirmeen Ahmed​

Pass the Drum Series

Drawing inspiration from the Walk the Circle program, Pass the Drum is an anthology series for students of all ages to explore the history and different perspectives of Indigenous culture through drum songs and stories. The beating of the drum reminds us that all human beings have a heartbeat and through that heartbeat, important teachings emerge that connect us to our ancestors. This spiritual connection helps us to express, create, and make a change in our communities. In each episode, you will meet and hear from different Indigenous artists and Elders across Turtle Island.

Click the plus signs to learn more about the artists featured in the Pass the Drum epsiodes.

Episode 1
In this episode, Candice Halls-Howcroft, a proud member of the Squamish Nation, tells the story of how she received her grandfather Khot-La-Cha’s drum and the important teachings that came with it.





Episode 2 - Part 1

In this episode, we meet Ntle’kepmx Elder Nk'xetko (Mary Jane Joe) who shares some of her drum teachings from her home in Musqueam. Nk'xetko is happy to continue on the wonderful stories that have been passed down to her from her Mother, Father, and Grandmother.



Episode 2 - Part 2
Elder Nk'xetko shares a drum song that came to her on the spot while working with the youth at Urban Native Youth Association and tells us how we must listen to our hearts to hear the songs of our ancestors.






Episode 3
In this episode, we meet Chantal Chagnon who is Cree, Ojibwe, and Métis. Chantal zooms in from Calgary, Treaty 7 territory, to share the story of her first drum and the importance of using the teachings to find the leader within.






Episode 4
In this episode, Elder Yeltsilewet (Faye Halls) from Squamish Nation shares the story of Mary Capilano, her grandmother, as passed down to her from her father Khot-La-Cha.






Episode 5

The story of Raven and the Blackberries was originally shared by Uncle Louis Miranda of Squamish Nation, told in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and translated into English. This iteration is a collaboration between Six Nations artist Artie Martin and Squamish Nation artist Candice Halls-Howcroft.

What do you notice? What do you question?

This video will inspire you to look at the similarities and the differences in Indigenous Culture while also learning an important lesson.






Episode 6

In this episode, we meet Cheyanne Halls-Howcroft, a proud member of Squamish Nation. Cheyanne shares stories about how working alongside her mother and grandmother have strengthened her understanding of what it means to be Sḵwx̱wú7mesh. Her mom Candice also makes a cameo telling us why she felt it was time for Cheyanne to have her own drum.





Episode 7

In this episode, we travel to Vancouver Island where we meet Nate Harris from Stz’uminus who shares some important leadership tips and protocols around the drum. Nate is also a self-taught guitar player and recently released his single 'Precious You'. Nate joins us from his home to perform a drum song, as well as singing and playing guitar.





Episode 8

In this episode, we head to Toronto (Tkaronto - the dish with one spoon), the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island to meet Nyame Outten-Joseph, a 2Spirit Afro-Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, Artivist and aspiring Educator.





Episode 9

In this episode, we head back to Vancouver Island to meet Ecko Aleck. Ecko is a multimedia performing artist working through the disciplines of spoken word, rap, and singing. Ecko was born into the Nlaka’pamux Nation and raised with the Shishalh Nation. She combines traditional with contemporary and is passionate about working with youth, providing them with the tools to express themselves.





Episode 10

In the final episode, Cree, Ojibwe, and Métis artist Chantal Chagnon joins us again to share some very important teachings around making your first drum and the different types of drums used by different Nations.

MathBeat resources are primarily designed to support educators who are conducting math work sessions remotely with their classroom. We have ten resources currently in development which will cover operations related to proportional reasoning, with units focusing on fractions, unit rates, units, ratios, and proportion and symmetry in geometry.

They are structured in three-part lesson plans with Minds-On, Activity, and Reflection/Self Assessment/Application sections and support key math learning.

Review the Fractions beta version unit

Review the Unit Rate beta version unit

Also, please, visit the Parent Resources section to view the videos about MathBeat and YouthBeat